Monday, November 06, 2006

114. "Sophie's Choice" ~ William Styron

Sophie, a Polish woman sent to the concentration camps during WWII, had to make a terrible choice.

The end.

If only. Instead, Styron inserts the southern charmer Stingo as the narrator of this book. Stingo is desperate to be a writer... a critically acclaimed writer. He's also desperate to get in a girl's pants (any girl, please, for the love of Mike).

Instead, Stingo is forced to deal with both southern blue-ballers and a Jewish "princess" -- all deny his wishes, leaving him frustrated.

I know the feeling. Each time I learned more about Sophie, truly the most interesting, complex character, Styron slipped away. Sometimes he allowed a trail of ellipses (...) to ensure that the reader knew he or she was being led astray.

Clocking in at over 500 pages, I can't believe I put this on my list of books to read; however, even my husband was surprised that I hadn't tackled this book before (and he's not a reader - blasphemy). After being teased through tortuous prose, I began to skim for Sophie's story. Unfortunately, I didn't figure out that I should have done this until page 300-something.

Sophie's choice? Heartbreaking. Styron's guilty-perverted narrator? A pain in the ass.

2.0 out of 5.0 SoCo Limes.


Carol Dean said...

Strike that off my list. Thank you. And: COURAGE!

Kristin Dodge said...

Thank you, sweetie. I owe you a much longer email... hope all is well.

Les said...

Ah, good to know. I had considered reading this next year. Thanks for saving me a few weeks of slow torture!